Award Season is underway again (as they like to say on the Coode Street Podcast), and inevitably that means a chorus of disapproval from around the blogosphere. This is the week in which fans everywhere explain why the Hugos have Got It Wrong again, and offer their suggestions for putting things right. You might wonder why those WSFS people don’t get their act together, given this wealth of helpful ideas. Well, here’s some food for thought.
Exhibit 1 is James over at Big Dumb Object. This year the Hugos once again broke the record for the number of nominating ballots. There were 1101 of them. James thinks that this number is depressingly small. He wants the Hugos to be truly representative of what science fiction and fantasy fans like, and he thinks we won’t get that unless we have far more fans voting. There must be millions of them, right?
Exhibit 2 is Larry at the OF Blog. He thinks that this year’s award short lists are an exercise in mediocrity. Even juried awards such as the Clarke and Tiptree fail to satisfy him. He wants an award decided by an elite cadre of literary critics who will pick works that truly deserve to be described as the best of the year.
Both of these bloggers doubtless believe sincerely that the are right. They also want pretty much exactly the opposite results from awards. And that, I submit, is a good example of why the Hugos never manage to “get it right”.